Happy New Year: Best 13 of 2013!

So 2013 has come to an end and 80 or so posts later...it's time for the yearly "Best of" post!! Here is the collection of my favorite designs/polishes that I have done/used over the course of 2013.

13. My Veterans Day cracked manicure from November:

12. My caviar manicure from the wayyy beginning of 2013 in January:

11. The An Occasion to Di(amond) For manicure I did for Steph and Matt's Engagement Dinner in May:

10. My hot pink Professionalism Day nails from November:

9. The Here Comes the Bride manicure inspired by Tiffany & Co. to celebrate my older sister getting engaged in April:

8. My Nautical Niceness manicure from November:

7. My I Got the Blues dotted nail design from March:

6. The Tuxedo nails I did in May:

5. My Color Run manicure from July:

4. The interesting Newspaper Nails from November:

3. My Avon Mosaic Effects manicure from May:

2. My Chevron manicure I just recently posted this month.

And finally, my absolute favorite nail design I did this year is....

1. My Layered Clouds manicure from this month. I know it's not the most intricate design but I just really LOVE the base color and I thought it was captured so beautifully in this picture. Also, the design is my favorite because of its versatility. You can do as many layers as you want, use as many or as little colors as you want, and it looks incredible. It's perfect for school, hanging out, going to a fancy dinner, the holidays, a formal, anything. You can wear this design any time.

There you have it! My Best Of 2013! Did I leave any out that you really liked? 
Let me know in the comments below.

Inspired By: Nailside's Cloud Manicure

Coming off the Chevron design I posted recently, I was really feeling the potential of simple yet dazzling layered designs. I also wanted to do something just a bit more amazing with my newly found favorite China Glaze Bizarre Blurple because I wasn't ready to take it off my nails (isn't it stunning?!)) but I also wanted to do a design that I saw on Nailside's nail blog. I came across this Happy Cloud design (with tutorial) and wanted to try my hand at it. It's so simple how could you not want to try it? Check her blog out if you haven't yet! Now, Nailside used three different colors but I opted for only two in order to make the middle look like a band bouncing across the nail. Plus, I really wanted to show off Bizarre Blurple too! 
For this look I used China Glaze Bizarre Blurple and Zoya Julie.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Swatch: China Glaze Bizarre Blurple

Has anyone else ever been surprised when they go to their nail polish collection and pick up a polish...only to realize that you had no idea you even had the polish? Yeah, that just happened to me twice! First it was China Glaze Blue Bells Ring (mentioned surprise in this post) and now it's China Glaze Bizarre Blurple. Do I have secret China Glaze polish fairies living in my apartment donating unexpected nail polishes to my collection?? How do I actually forget that I have a polish? As soon as I saw Bizarre Blurple I wanted to put it to use on my nails and I LOOOVE it. This color is amazing. It's this really hard to capture purple/blue and I tried my best with my camera and limited photographer skills. Hopefully you can get the idea what the color actually looks like. I definitely changes with the light.

 Is this not totes gorge?! 
What polish did you forget that you had?

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Merry Christmas readers! 
I hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate it and a wonderful day if you don't. Enjoy all the time celebrating with your family, friends, and all the time to relax.

A Wispy Red Christmas Design Danced In My Head

Continuing in my string of Christmas manicures, we have this post. The base is a combination of polishes that I probably should have put on a bit thicker...you can see the thin spots in the photo. Eh, ignore those. I layered China Glaze Watermelon Rind over Sally Hansen Green With Envy and got this really gorgeous green. It's like no other polish I own. To spruce up otherwise bland green nails, I added some wispy lines of Color Club Art Club in Red.
Simple, yet elegant. No?

Christmas Can Be Funky

This manicure is a bit more funky for Christmas, dare I say almost tribal? I'm not a fan of this one so I'll be taking it off my nails stat!
To get this look: I did a base coat with Zoya Snow White on my four fingers and then China Glaze Midnight Kiss on the thumb. To make the designs I used China Glaze Phat Santa and China Glaze Jolly Holly. 

Christmas Carol Challenge: "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"

Continuing with my Christmas manicures, I decided to do a challenge: a nail design inspired by whatever Christmas Carol was playing when I turned on my radio. Luckily, it was a song that I know and that I hoped would make an easy nail design..."Santa Claus is Coming to Town." My nails are short so I was worried I wouldn't be able to cram everything I wanted onto my nails but I think I did alright. It's supposed to look like Santa's sleigh being pulled by reindeer because, you know, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and all.
For this design I used Jordana Chestnut as a base, Orly Liquid Vinyl for the reindeer (stamped with BundleMonster plate 214), Kiss Brush-On Nail Art Paint in Black for the sleigh, China Glaze Phat Santa for the package on the sleigh, and then China Glaze Jolly Holly for the Christmas tree. The ornaments on the tree are Zoya Snow White and China Glaze Midnight Kiss.

If anyone wants to jump in and do this challenge too...please do! Just turn on a radio to a Christmas Carol station and then do a manicure inspired by whatever carol is currently playing. Or you could always just pick your favorite Christmas Carol.

For those who might not know the song I'm talking about:
So what do you think? 
If you complete the challenge let me know in the comments so I can check it out!

Christmas in T-minus 5 days!

Eeeeeee, Christmas is in only FIVE days! Call me childish but for some reason I still get excited for Christmas like an eight year old. For reals. Perhaps it's because Christmas means I get my favorite meals back to back (we do the Italian 7 Fish traditional Christmas Eve feast and then the standard Christmas Day dinner) or maybe it's just that my family is all home all at the same time and it's just nice to see them all for more than a quick hello before someone goes to work or out with somebody. If you've been reading my blog from the beginning you know there's only 5 of us and we keep our Holidays sort of private, meaning it's only us 5 at the dinner table. Well, us 5 plus my "adopted uncle" John. The boyfriend (for me), fiance (for Steph), and get this...now girlfriend (for my younger brother Matt) show up later when we're having dessert, playing games, etc. In light of the impending Christmas festivities, I think I'll do a Christmas themed manicure from here on out.  
For this look: I used Zoya Shawn and China Glaze Phat Santa (what an appropriate name for a holiday red right?!) to form the two columns and separated the columns with Color Club Art Club in Gold Glitter. Of course, no mani is complete...without a coat of Seche Vite!

Stylish Chevron: Orange, Purple, and Silver

Hey polish friends, you may have noticed my blog's new face! After three years of the same background and all, I changed pretty much all the design stuff before posting this (background, header, fonts, colors, etc) but I kept all the pictures and posts, of course. How do you like the face-lift?! I really like it. It's simple yet colorful, and just the right amount of fun. I love it! I also have a new nail design for today: orange, purple and silver chevrons. It's a really easy design to do (use tape if you can't get straight lines) and it takes almost no time at all except for the time you have to wait for the layers to dry.
For this look I used Sally Hansen Plum's The Word, OPI Flit A Bit, and Brucci Jessica's Wedding Bells. Can't say these colors look bad together...but I probably could have put together three different ones that would look better. 
So, what do you think? What combinations would you use?
Let me know in the comments below.

Snowman's Paradise

My nails for today are in honor of the recent weather we've been having. Ever since my finals started the weather has been nothing but snow, hail, ice, cold, and rain...seriously it's a snowman's paradise over here. We've had more than a foot of snow already and it's not even officially "winter" yet! 

I painted the base coat with a polish I didn't even know I had, China Glaze Blue Bells Ring, and then used Sally Hansen Gunmetal, Orly White Out, and OPI Flit A Bit to make the snow, snowman, and snowman parts. I also added a layer of glitter (Orly Shine on Crazy Diamond) to the blanket of snow at the bottom, although you can't really make it out in this picture. As the song says, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!"

*Drumroll Please* Color of the Year 2014: Radiant Orchid

Today I learned that the Pantone "Color of the Year" is Radiant Orchid. To be 100% honest, I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. I'm not a HUGE fan of purple but this color has a bit of pink/fuchsia going on...so maybe I like it. 
Commence the quest for the perfect Radiant Orchid polish!!

Swatch: Butter London Giddy Kipper

This is only my second Butter London polish to join my collection, but I have to say I already really like the brand. If only these gorgeous polishes didn't come with such a high price I'd add a bunch to my collection. 
This polish is a gorgeous indigo and I'm pretty sure I don't have anything else like it in my stash so it's a welcome addition. It also dried extremely quickly and had a great finish to it. May have to look into just one more Butter London polish...if you know what I mean.
Without flash (I really should cleaned up the cuticles...yikes):
With flash:

Could this be any truer?

I know this isn't really a manicure/pedicure post at all but I found these randomly online and they made me crack up laughing. So true. #NailPolishAddicts

Christmas is on its way!

Today's post is the first Christmas-themed manicure of 2014! I'm surprised I didn't do one earlier (my Christmas tree has been up for two weeks already) but I really love the way this turned out. I used Orly White Out, Sally Hansen Cherry Red, Zoya Shawn, Zoya Trixie, and OPI Ali's Big Break. I also used BundleMonster plates 14, 205, and 214.

Who doesn't love a holiday giveaway?

I haven't featured a giveaway on this blog in quite some time. I was searching some nail blogs and I found this Jingle All the Way Giveaway on Pointless Cafe. Of course I entered and so should you!

Good luck!

Nails of November #13: Thanksgiving Haul

Today is the final post for my Nails of November series! It's a haul post of five polishes that I bought over Thanksgiving at my favorite nail polish haven store, Beautyland, and one polish that my sister gave me.
The five polishes I bought to add to my collection were: Butter London Giddy Kipper, China Glaze Highlight of My Summer, China Glaze Don't Make Me Wine, China Glaze Infra Red, and Healthy Hoof Hoof Lacquer. The sixth polish my sister gave me was Essie Lots of Lux. I can't wait to use them!

Nails of November #12: Gridlocked

This manicure is actually old. I found the photo on my camera when I was clearing out the memory and realized I never posted them! What do you think?

Nails of November #11: You Stay Classy

I went to see Catching Fire at the cinema with my older sister and there was a preview for the second Anchorman. I must admit there's a soft spot in my heart for Anchorman so I'm pretty psyched for it to come out. I went with some classy nails!
You stay classy San Diego!

Nails of November #10: Peaches and Cr--Stripes!

Please excuse the mess that is my desk usually when I do my nails...I didn't take the time to crop this photo like I normally do. For today I have a simple peach/nude manicure turned stripe fiasco on the ring finger as an accent.
For this look I used a bunch of random polishes that I pulled out of my Helmer:
China Glaze Sunset Sail as the base
Zoya Snow White
Color Club Art Club in Red
Color Club Art Club in Grape Escape
Kiss Brush-On Nail Art Paint in Soft Blue
Seche Vite on top, as always!

Nails of November #9: PUMPed Up Nails

I wanted to do a bit of stamping during Nails of November with a brand new never-used-by-me-before stamp that was really girly and fun. How did I miss this little gem? It's a stamp of HIGH HEEL PUMPS (hence the title)! What?! Yes. I have a feeling my mom would LOVE this and I have to say I don't know why I didn't think to use this for her birthday but anyway, this was exactly what I was looking for to use for today's post. 
I used China Glaze For Audrey and BundleMonster plate 213 stamped in Orly Liquid Vinyl.
Adorable, no?

Nails of November Post #8 - Swatch: OPI I Have A Herring Problem

This post is actually from the vault (aka, pulled from my computer because I forgot I made it!). Here we go, another Nails of November swatch. This time I can't say I'm left as giddy with polishaffection as I was with Sinful Colors Blue By You from November 1st but...eh, this one is just plain ok. The polish in the bottle looks much much more beautiful than it does in these pictures or on my nails. I thought the color would look really nice with my skintone but...ehhh I think I'm wrong. This polish is OPI I Have a Herring Problem. I think it might be a dupe for Zoya Skylar but, since I own Jo and not Skylar, I can't post a Dupe Dispute on that.  Overall this polish leaves me with an overwhelming sense of blah. Although my actual nail length and shape in this photo is phenoms. They are almost all even...and are pretty long for me. Too bad they are totally not like this anymore!

Nails of November Post #7 - Swatch: OPI Flit A Bit

OPI Flit A Bit is just a fun, bright, spring/summer shade that will brighten your day every time you catch sight of your nails. It applies fully opaque in one coat if you put the perfect amount on the brush (just allow a bit more dry time because the polish is thicker than a normal coat). I really like this polish all year long just because it uplifting. So if there were a few days of rain and dreary weather I would probably put this polish on just because it's "happy."

Do you have that one go-to spring color?

Nails of November #6 - Secret Garden Anyone?

This nail design reminds me of the movie The Secret Garden because of the stamped design I used. I also tried my hand at layered stamping which I saw a few times while perusing some of my favorite nail blogs. It's simple, easy, and quick, but it looks so intricate and fancy or in my case looks like a train wreck.
For this design I painted a base coat of China Glaze Recycle on all fingers and then stamped the gorgeous vine design on BundleMonster plate BM225 in either Orly Liquid Vinyl followed by Zoya Robyn or Orly Liquid Vinyl and Essence Silver Surfer (on my ring finger for a bit of an accent).

Nails of November #5: Captivating Crackled Nails

As mentioned before, I wanted to do some stamping for Nails of November because I have so many options when it comes to stamps and there are so many options for ultimate designs. For this one I kept it sort of simple with just two colors and one stamp. I used my "fauxnad" BundleMonster plate (specifically BM-215) and stamped Essie Sassy Satchel over China Glaze Sunset Sail. I think the colors look nice together. I didn't realize until now that this stamp would be giraffe designs really really easy.
Do you have a "go to" color for designs?

Also, a huge thank you to all the service members, past and present, who have spent their time serving to keep our nation safe and secure. A special thank you to my father, my dear pops, my Dad, a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. To all the Marines out there I extend a "semper fi" and an "Ooh ra" on his behalf. To all service members, God bless and thank you.

Nails of November #4: Polish for Charity

As I posted previously on October 24th, Clinique and the Happy Hearts Fund partnered up to bring polish lovers everywhere a gorgeous pink polish for a good case. With each purchase, $5 would be given to the Happy Hearts Fund, a fund created to help children who are victims of natural disasters. I posted about the polish to try to spread awareness and get my fellow polish hoarders to pick up some polish for a good price AND a good cause! And don't worry, I got one too!

It's a beautiful and cheerful pink and it totally fits it's name, "Happy", since you will smile every time you check out your nails throughout the day. The packaging was adorable too.
Also, I GOT A NEW COMPUTER!!! So, naturally I had to test out the new built-in webcam.

Not sure I'll use it for my design and close up pics because it's a little fuzzy(?). But I'm thrilled and I'm loving the new computer!
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